The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that the balancing payments under the 2014 Single Farm Payment scheme will commence next Monday, December 1.

The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney confirmed that this will bring the total value of payments made under both the Single Farm Payment and the Disadvantaged Areas Schemes to €1.3 billion since payments began on September 24 last.

“I am delighted to confirm that the balancing payments will commence on target on 1st December” the Minister said, adding that “these payments are worth in excess of €550 million and will begin arriving in farmers bank accounts from early next week,” he said.

Minister Coveney remarked that “this brings the total value of payments made to date under the 2014 Single Farm Payment to over €1.1 billion, while payments under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme now exceeds €185 million”.

The Minister said that the full extent of the resources of his Department continues to be focused on the remaining unpaid cases under both Schemes.

“I can confirm that every effort continues to be made to clearing the small percentage of remaining cases for payment and, to this end, I can confirm that regular payment runs will continue to be made on both schemes on a twice weekly basis”.

“By any measure, the payments performance over the past two months has been good and is particularly welcome this year given the financial difficulties experienced by many farmers especially in the beef sector.

The Minister re-iterated his determination to further maximise payments to the farmers concerned, at the earliest possible date and urged farmers to respond to outstanding queries as soon as possible.

“In this way I can ensure the quickest turnaround of cases for payment” the Minister said, and he concluded by saying that “it remains my firm intention to ensure that everything possible will continue to be done to get the maximum level of payments to the farmers concerned as soon as possible,” he said.